St. Onuphrius the Great spent a “confined” life by our human standards in the desert, but found the main thing there – God, and in God he found everything that everyone wants and looks for. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine said this in his sermon during the festive Liturgy on the square in front of the Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra on June 25, 2019.
“Saint Onuphrius found spiritual sweetness [in the desert] and found God there. And in God he found happiness, joy, and peace for himself. And everything that a person needs, what everyone is looking for”, said the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
As His Beatitude noted, people often look for happiness in alcohol, drugs, or entertainments of this world, but happiness is only in God.
“A person that lives with God may be rich or poor, a scholar or not, but they find peace, happiness, and joy for themselves”, said the Archpastor.
The Primate noted that it seems difficult to emulate Saint Onuphrius while living in the world: we cannot become hermits, we cannot follow the same strict lifestyle.
“However, we can do something else. Every person has a soul. And God says, “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly”. A human soul should be like a desert. Not in the sense of desolation, but liberation from vanity, passions, self-love, pride, envy, anger, and misanthropy. When we free the soul from all these spiritual diseases, the soul becomes a spiritual desert. And a person should ascend there with their mind: although not to always live there, but to go there from time to time and pray, reconcile with God there, ask for grace there so that God would give the power to love their neighbors, even their enemies and those, who hate us. If a person conducts their spiritual life properly, then they beg God for it all”, said the Archpastor.
The Primate wished Orthodox Christians God’s help in this spiritual field and urged everyone to pray to God to the best of their abilities every day.
“At least 10-15 minutes both in the morning and in the evening. Before and after meals. When we go and are not occupied with anything, one should try to read prayers: either the Jesus Prayer or just: “Lord, have mercy”, or another: “Most Holy Theotokos, save us”. To keep mind occupied with the Divine work. When the words of prayer are put into the mind, the thoughts emanate kind and bright energy that illuminates a person themselves and everything around them”, said His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onuphry.
Translated by Julia Frolova